TORONTO – A forensic audit of Mayor Rob Ford’s 2010 campaign finances shows he broke the Municipal Elections Act.
A statement released on behalf of Max Reed and Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler regarding the audit of Rob Ford’s election campaign said, “The audit revealed more than 100 apparent contraventions of the Municipal Elections Act, including the finding that Ford spent more than $40,000 above his legal spending limit.”
“Additionally, the auditors found that Ford, in apparent contravention of election laws, accepted corporate donations, received a loan from Ford’s family company (Doug Ford Holding Inc), and began spending money before the campaign was legally permitted.”
The audit found he exceeded the authorized limit by $40,168, or about three per cent, and that it contravened Subsection 76(4) of the act.
Councillor Doug Ford said one of the big things that put his brother Rob over, is a $27,000 misunderstanding about a fundraiser.
“Our interpretation of a fundraiser and it leads to, maybe they should check every single campaign, is that you do a fundraiser, and it gets excluded from your expenses,” Doug Ford said.
“They’re saying no it wasn’t excluded because people didn’t know Rob is Scarborough. Well I’m sorry people knew Rob in Scarborough.”
The findings will be discussed at the compliance audit committee meeting on Feb. 25.
The city’s three-person compliance committee will determine if a special prosecutor should be hired to explore non-criminal charges against Ford.
One of the possible punishments is removal from office, but that penalty has never been applied to a politician in Ontario.
This could be just another cloud over Mayor Ford’s stormy time in office.
“They’re trying everything they can to take down Rob Ford. They want to politically kill him,” Councillor Doug Ford.
If charges are laid and the case goes to court, it could happen during the 2014 campaign, and Mayor Ford said he intends to be on the ballot.
The audit is based on allegations Ford’s 2010 campaign exceeded the $1.3-million limit by over $150,000, and that he broke the law by borrowing $78,000 in campaign expenses from his family company, which was not an approved campaign lender.
On Jan. 25, Ontario’s Divisional Court overturned a previous decision that ordered Ford removed from office for violating conflict-of-interest rules.